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The minority report concurs in part, but advocates establishment of compulsory and exclusive State compensation insurance, increase in all compensation benefits, and retention of right to jury trials in appeals. Opposition is expressed to the establishment of any waiting period.
The committee was unable to agree with some of the recommendations presented by the actuary and the industrial accident commission. Among these were: Establishment of an exclusive State fund; compulsory coverage under act; coverage of nonhazardous employments; coverage of occupational diseases; restrictions of appeals to questions of law only; provision for safety engineering and accidentprevention work; and increases in funeral benefits, remarriage allowance, and all compensation benefits.
Recent Compensation Reports
Arizona HE fifth annua, report of the Industrial Commission of Arizona conditions and affairs of the State compensation fund.
As a result of the examination the fund is declared to be in excellent financial condition, showing a net surplus of $768,265.12, as of December 31, 1930. It is stated that, in the opinion of the actuary, this surplus is not excessive, considering the volume of business transacted, the high scale of benefits under the law, and the statutory provision that the fund shall be administered by the commission without liability to the State.
The commission is commended for prompt and fair settlements of claims against the State fund; for reasonable and adequate insurance premium rates (90 per cent of the rates approved for other compensation insurance carriers, with a dividend distribution of surplus based on merit rating); for adequate records, kept well and accurately; and for economy and efficiency of management.
It is, however, pointed out that, in spite of the fact that 20 per cent of all premiums are credited to the medical and hospital fund (designated the accident benefit fund), this portion is not sufficient to cover the liability for estimated future service. It is advised that efforts be made to reduce the high and constantly increasing cost of medical and hospital benefits, without impairment of services to the injured, in order to avoid diverting a larger portion of the total premiums to this fund and reducing the dividends to the policyholders correspondingly.
The commission explains that it is issuing dividends amounting to more than $150,000 to policyholders whose cost of accidents was less than their premium payments. It is stated that the overhead is still maintained at less than 7 per cent of the income. Over 12,500 new cases were handled during the calendar year by the commission, which adjudicates all cases of industrial injury, whether the liability is carried by the State fund or by private insurance carriers.
The financial statement for the fund shows that the total earned premiums for the year ending December 31, 1930, were $1,395,782.32 for the compensation fund and $213,945.56 for the medical and hospital fund. Current compensation benefits amounting to $389,
557.72 were paid on cases occurring in 1930, and medical and hospital benefits amounting to $216,779.83 were paid or provided during the year, while $1,381,752.30 was transferred to the various reserves.
California Part of the report of the Department of Industrial Relations of California for the period 1927 to 1930 is devoted to the activities of the industrial accident commission, the governing body of the division of industrial accidents and safety.
Attention is called to the various amendments to the workmen's compensation, insurance, and safety laws, enacted by the 1928–29 session of the State legislature. Among the prominent changes are the establishment of a “subsequent injury” fund, for the payment of special additional compensation in second-injury cases, through contributions from employers or insurance carriers of $300 in each fatal injury case where there are no dependents; an increase from $20.83 to $25 in the maximum weekly compensation; and a 10 per cent increase in maximum compensation payments in case of failure of the employer to secure compensation under the act.
Summary reports from the various subdivisions of the industrial commission include a report from the State compensation insurance fund, showing that on June 30, 1930, approximately 30,000 employers were insured by the fund, representing one-third of the insurance written by the 60 compensation insurance carriers in the State. An explanation is given of the methods of the fund in furnishing insurance at cost to its policyholders. Workmen's compensation insurance rates are under the control and supervision of the State insurance commissioner, and the rates promulgated by him must be used by all insurance carriers operating in the State. These rates are so made that 59.4 per cent of the premiums cover the compensation and medical losses, while the balance of 40.6 per cent is intended for payment of expenses of operation. As the operating expenses of the fund have averaged less than 15 per cent of its premium income, the difference between that amount and the 40.6 per cent in the rates, plus interest earnings on reserves and catastrophe surplus, is distributed to the policyholders as dividends. The following table, taken from the report, shows the total premiums written by the fund, dividends declared, and total assets, 1914 to 1929, by calendar years. Table 1.-EXPERIENCE OF CALIFORNIA COMPENSATION INSURANCE FUND, 1914
Considerable stress is laid on safety prevention, both by the compensation insurance fund to its policyholders and by the safety department of the commission to all employers in the State. Joint committees of employers, employees, engineering societies, and others interested have for some time been engaged in revising the safety rules and safety orders adopted by the commission as minimum standards for the principal hazardous industries of the State.
Records compiled by the statistical department show the tabulatable injuries, consisting of fatalities, permanent disabilities, and temporary disabilities lasting longer than the day of injury, by industry, cause, nature of injury, or location of injury, each by extent of disability and year, for the three fiscal years ending June 30, 1930. In the following table, prepared from data in the report, are shown the total injuries, including no-disability cases requiring medical aid, reported to the commission, by extent of disability and by fiscal year, for the 3-year period. TABLE 2.-NUMBER OF INDUSTRIAL INJURIES REPORTED IN CALIFORNIA, EACH
YEAR 1928 TO 1930, BY EXTENT OF DISABILITY
Kansas The annual report of the workmen's compensation department of the Commission of Labor and Industry of Kansas for the year ending June 30, 1931, calls attention to the experience under the compensation act during the four years that it has been administered by a commission.
It is estimated in the report that an average of 175,000 workers was covered by the act during that time, while the records show a toll of 352 deaths, 1,744 total or partial permanent injuries, and 41,952 temporary injuries for the four years. The total compensation paid in cases where final and complete settlements have been made amounts to approximately $2,500,000, while reported medical, hospital, and funeral expenses amount to an additional $750,000. Considering that
. further compensation payments have been made in other cases, not closed at the date of the report, that all medical and hospital expenses are not reported, and that other factors are not included, such as prevention cost and expense resulting from temporary inefficient operation in the loss of a trained worker, the commission assumes that
a the actual expense to the industry is double the amount reported, and urges the employers to control the cost by greater prevention of accidents and proper care of injuries when sustained.
The table following shows the number of injuries reported to the commission, all accidental injuries disabling the worker for more than the day of occurrence, by years, for the four fiscal years, and by industries for the year of the report, all by extent of disability.
TABLE 3.-NUMBER OF INDUSTRIAL ACCIDENTS REPORTED IN KANSAS, JULY 1, 1927,
TO JUNE 30, 1931, BY EXTENT OF DISABILITY
Number of accidents
Fiscal year and industry
Clerical and professional service.
Food and kindred products.
Wood and other building materials.
Quarrying, stone crushing-
Steam, interurban and street railways.
7 6 10
232 1, 057
283 1, 145
During the year of the report 4,709 compensation cases were closed and final releases filed with the department. The average compensation payment was $135.54 per case. For the year 1929–30 the average was $124.54 in 5,726 cases closed, for the year 1928–29 it was $105.48 in 5,531 cases closed, and for the year 1927-28 it was $98.17 in 4,426 cases closed, showing a constant increase in cost.
The average medical expense, however, remained fairly constant. The average amount paid per case was $49.26 in 3,667 cases reported for 1930–31, $49.37 in 4,127 cases reported for 1929–30, and $47.18 in 3,628 cases reported for 1928–29.
ACCORDING to the October, 1931, issue of the Industrial Bulletin, published by the industrial commissioner of New York State, the State Department of Labor made closing awards of compensation during the year ending June 30, 1931, amounting to over $36,000,000, for accidental injuries to workers in the course of their employment. This is the highest amount awarded in any one year and nearly $800,000 more than awarded during the previous year.
The number of cases closed during the year was 103,046, or 6,800 less than in the year ending June 30, 1930, but greater than in any other preceding year. It is explained that many of these accidents occurred in earlier years, so the figures do not show how much the decrease in employment has reduced the number of compensable accidents, but that a considerable decrease had taken place in both the number of accidents reported and the number of claims filed.
The following table shows the number of cases closed, the number of weeks' compensation awarded in permanent partial and temporary disability cases, and the amount of compensation awarded.
TABLE 4.-NUMBER OF COMPENSABLE CASES CLOSED IN NEW YORK AND COMPEN. SATION AWARDED, BY EXTENT OF DISABILITY, YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1931
A large number of other cases were disallowed because the injuries did not cause disability extending beyond seven days or because they did not otherwise come under the provisions of the workmen's compensation law. Compensable cases which were closed in previous years but reopened for further consideration in 1930–31 are also not included.
In Table 5 is presented a comparison for the current year and the previous year of the number of compensable cases closed, distributed according to the industry in which they occurred. A decided reduction is shown for manufacturing industries, attributed to employment conditions. It is pointed out that practically the same number of accidents occurred in construction work each year, in spite of the widespread decrease in employment during the current year, and that a large increase had taken place in the service industries, presumably caused by increase in employment. TABLE 5.-NUMBER OF COMPENSABLE CASES CLOSED IN NEW YORK, BY INDUSTRY,
1929-30 AND 1930-31
The annual report of the Industrial Commission of Porto Rico, for the year ended June 30, 1931, refers briefly to the different methods which have been applied to the problems of workmen's compensation in the island since the first act became effective in 1916: Optional State insurance for the first two years, followed by compulsory and exclusive State insurance, which was replaced in 1928 by a competitive insurance system, requiring coverage by the State workmen's insurance fund or by private carriers, or selfinsurance.
In 1928 an industrial commission replaced the workmen's relief commission, which formerly administered the settlement of claims